Third time the charm is a good saying in general. When it comes to movies however, that is often not the case (there are a few exceptions of course). It’s extremely rare when the third entrée is the best out of the trilogy. It has plagued certain trilogies. This has happened with Shrek, The Terminator, Jurassic Park, Transporter, and just too many to put down. A debate can occur when talking about the respective ends of The Matrix, The Godfather, Nolan’s Batman films. That’s a topic for another day, though. The Hangover got tons of buzz upon release, everyone seemed to be raving about it. I waited a while. Rated R comedies go wrong most of the time because they try too hard to be R rated. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally did see it. Overall, a fun time with plenty of laughs. Sequels weren’t needed, both haven’t helped the franchise in any way.
Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has been recently acting out more than usual which may be due to the fact he’s stopped taking his medication. This prompts the rest of the group, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Stu (Ed Helms) to drive Alan to a rehabilitation center in Arizona. While driving through the desert the gang get run off the road by a very dangerous man, Marshall (John Goodman). Marshall kidnaps Doug and tells the rest to find Chow (Ken Jeong), who has stolen something that he wants back. Really, with no choice, the trio agree. They will need to search for Chow in different locations – which includes Tijuana and Las Vegas – in order to once again get their friend back.
Todd Phillips has directed all three of the Hangover movies. Phillips always shoots his film’s well, easily his greatest strength. He’s demonstrated he can do other things. Such as add a dramatic element that at the minimum does something (Due Date), and craft a fun story (The Hangover). Overall, Phillips hasn’t successfully combined everything together yet. The only way for this franchise to work, is if it’s entertaining – that simple. Drama shouldn’t be shoved down your throat. Tone wise, it can become a mess. In some instances, a simple story is bad. Here, though, all we need is another funny journey with these characters we used to like and laugh at/with. Tons of stops were pulled out, but I wanted a straight shot of what works in this franchise.
Lots of things can go wrong in a comedy. When you have a good screenplay, it really helps. One of the biggest impediments to The Hangover 3 is it’s just not funny. Jokes fall flat left and right. I chuckled a couple of times, but it was all basic stuff; nothing that makes the movie worth it. Too much darkness was put in as well. I’m a big fan of dark comedies, but not when it gets forced in. That aspect has to come naturally. Scenes that are set-up to elicit the biggest laughs end up being cringe worthy. Shock moments are thrown in at times. Unlike the first, they just there to snap the audience out of losing complete interest rather than deliver a good comedy moment. Cruel animal moments were added, and I assume they came off the exact opposite of what the makers assumed.
The acting was more of the same, only difference was they’re a bit stale this time around. You could say the same for the second one, but Bradley Cooper was the sole main cast member that remained fresh, so to speak. Here, though, Cooper comes off bland and recycled like everyone else. Cooper has turned out to be a great actor. Just look at last year’s Silver Linings Playbook, delivered an excellent performance. He is the same character as in the previous two Hangover movies, but it’s run its course and is now out of gas. I loved Zack Galifianakis and Ed Helms in the first Hangover, now I’m tired of them. This isn’t the fault of the actors completely. The roles just didn’t hold up. Ken Jeong does what is expected – feel bad for him because he is always used poorly. Rest of the cast (John Goodman, Justin Bartha) are fine, but have no impact.
Time has not been kind to Part 2, and it won’t be kind to Part 3 either. I have many problems, one of my biggest revolves around the plot. I wanted it to revolve around Stu, Alan, and Phil. Instead, everything is focused on Mr. Chow. Its ends up being his movie. He can be amusing in small bursts, but not when he dominates screen time. The trio still has chemistry, so it can be frustrating when they’re pushed to the side. They started the franchise, they should finish it. When trying to search for something good to say, only the soundtrack come to mind. Honestly, can’t see anyone enjoying this. The tagline to the movie is: It All Ends. I hope that’s true. The Hangover should have been a stand-alone movie. Would have left a better feeling when talking about the original.